The most common yellow and black butterfly species are Swallowtail and Brush-footed butterflies. Some famous yellow and black butterfly species are the Giant swallowtail, Eastern tiger swallowtail, Black swallowtail, and Monarchs.
Giant Swallowtail butterfly
The Giant swallowtail butterfly (Papilio cresphontes) is mostly black, with 2 rows of vivid yellow marks across its forewings and hindwings. The underside of its wings is brightly yellow, with black veins coming from the middle of the wing area to the edges and some orange spots resembling eyespots.
The larva resembles a bird dropping. In some cases, it’s considered a pest, as it can defoliate small potted plants. This butterfly loves flower nectar and is a common visitor of butterfly gardens. Their flight is strong but leisurely.
Papilio cresphontes lives in Florida and throughout the American continent.
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly
The Eastern tiger swallowtail butterfly (Papilio glaucus), or the Black and yellow butterfly, has a 3.11 to 5.5 inches (7.9 to 14 cm) wingspan decorated with black tiger stripes. Female adults are larger than males. Males are bright yellow, and females might be black or yellow. Females have blue coloring on their tails.
The Papilio glaucus butterfly is solitary and diurnal. Males participate in puddling, where they gather on paddles or mud. They do this to extract amino acids and sodium ions to help in reproduction. Females might also puddle, but individually.
The Eastern tiger swallowtail butterfly is found in Florida west, southern Vermont, and eastern Texas.
Black Swallowtail Butterfly
The Black swallowtail butterfly (Papilio polyxenes asterius) has had other names, including Parsley swallowtail, Parsnip swallowtail, and American swallowtail. Black swallowtails have black wings with 2 yellow spots. The yellow spots are larger and brighter in males.
The hindwings have prominent blue scaling between two yellow rows. The blue scaling is more pronounced in females.
Papilio polyxenes asterius prefers open areas such as gardens, roadsides, and wet prairies. These butterflies get into frenzied flights when seeking a sleeping perch. Once it finds a good perch, the butterfly lands, lowers its abdomen, and closes its wings to sleep all night.
Black swallowtail butterflies are common in southern Canada, Arizona, and northern Mexico.
The Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus), also known as the milkweed, Black-veined brown, or Wanderer, is large and one of the most recognized species in North America. Its wings have a yellow color base with black veins and white spots. This coloration is similar to that of the Viceroy and Soldier butterfly.
Males are larger and heavier than females. Male hindwings have black scent glands near the center. Female wings have thicker black veins.
Monarch butterflies are known for their marathoner behavior, where they migrate from north America and Canada to overwinter in Mexico. These butterflies can travel 25 to 30 miles daily at 5.5 mph (9 km/hr).
The Monarch butterfly lives in:
- North America
- New Zealand
- the UK
Mourning Cloak Butterfly
The Mourning cloak butterfly (Nymphalis antiopa) is large and commonly known as Camberwell beauty in the UK. The upper side of the wings is a deep maroon with yellow edges. There are blue spots between the maroon and yellow. The wing’s ventral side is black with yellow edges.
Nymphalis antiopa have a polygynous mating behavior where a single male can mate with several females. These butterflies overwinter in tree cavities and under tree barks. Adult butterflies can feign death when attacked.
The Mourning cloak is native to North America and Eurasia.
Orange Sulphur Butterfly
The Orange sulphur butterfly (Colias eurytheme) is also known as the Alfalfa butterfly because it is their host plant in the western US. This butterfly has bright yellow wings with orange overlays. The male wings have a wide black border and black spots. Females have an irregular black border with light spots. Some females are white.
Male butterflies recognize females from the coloration of their hindwings. Orange sulphurs have 2 to 3 flight seasons in the north and 4 to 5 in the south. They appear from June to October in the north and from March to November in the south.
Orange sulphurs prefer open areas and are residents of North America.
Painted Lady Butterfly
The Painted lady butterfly (Vanessa cardui) is sometimes known as Cosmopolitan. The wing’s upper side is orange/yellow with white spots and thick black lines. The underside has black, red-orange, and brown patterns.
The males are territorial and use the perch-and-patrol method to find females. Females symbolize courtship by flying in circles in groups of two to eight. Vanessa cardui caterpillars weave silk tents on thistles, unlike similar species that weave leave tents. These butterflies can fly up to 100 miles per day when migrating.
Painted lady butterflies are widely distributed in all continents except Australia and Antarctica.
We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!
Let us improve this post!
Tell us how we can improve this post?
Tabitha is a nature lover who loves nothing more than a day spent outdoors. With her introverted personality, she often finds herself seeking solitude in the outdoors. She loves the feeling of being surrounded by nature and the peace it brings her. She also finds herself drawn to the beauty that exists in this world, whether it’s a majestic waterfall or a butterfly fluttering by.